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Managing Change by Choice, Chance or Crisis

What Causes Leaders to Change? - Choice, Chance or Crisis

As the story goes, some people make things happen, some have things happen to them and others just say 'What happened?'.

But when things happen, changes follow. If you think about it, there are probably three main drivers behind most of the changes we face in business, and in much of life: Choice, Chance and Crisis.


Some people and some organisations choose to change in a way and at a time of their own making. They have prepared for the change, explored all their options and probably even created a specific climate in which their intended change is most likely to be successful. They choose to change.


For others, luck has more to do with their decision to change something. Perhaps an unusual event, a chance meeting, or a decision by someone else, has created the circumstances which encouraged a change. An opportunity has fallen in their lap, but at least they recognised it and capitalised on it.


For a third group, an impending crisis is the only thing which will cause any change. Their experience of change is rarely positive because of their reluctance to recognise risks or opportunities early enough to prepare and make the best of a situation. By the time this group considers change, they have little choice and few options.

How do you approach change? Think about whether you tend to change through choice, chance or crisis. Are you waiting for a crisis before you make inevitable changes? Are you actively looking for opportunities? Are you exploring all your options, and planning and preparing to change by choice?

(More ideas on change in the Quick Tips below)

Quote of Note

"Change is usually what we want the other person to do."

Louise L Hay

Change Quick Tips

  • Good l eaders are more likely to choose to change. You can develop the skill of changing by choice if you wish to do so.
  • Practise 'change by choice' on some of the small things in your life. Choose something different for breakfast, travel to work a different way, or listen to another style of music for a week.
  • Think about how you felt when you chose to change. Were you more willing to experiment? Did you put some effort into making the right choice? Did it help to know you could always choose to change again?
  • Make some serious changes. Think about what you are just tolerating in your life. What planning and preparation can you make to help you change successfully?
  • For more ideas on how to create a sense of urgency for change in your organization see the article Making Changes Stick at our blog.


Copyright © Kerrie Mullins-Gunst

Kerrie Mullins-Gunst is an expert in all the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours you need to mentor, manage and lead your people, and one of Australia's leading mentors, planning facilitators and female business speakers. For your free Top Leadership Tips Workbook and other resources or to listen to her podcast, visit http://leadershipskillcenter.com or call her on 61-3-9859 3924.

This article is copyright, but permission will usually be given to reproduce it if requested, provided a notice such as that above is included. Contact us to request permission.

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